The Great North Swim is listed in the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims list - and for very good reason.
World-class athletes mix with newcomers for an exciting two-day open water swimming extravaganza in England's biggest lake.
Within a week of opening up for entries this year, more than 3,000 people have signed up for the 2nd annual event on September 12-13 - and the interest continues to build.
The Great North Swim event enables some of the world's best open water swimmers sprint over a mile as well as providing a reasonable challenge for newcomers in Lake Windermere. The top three women in 2008 included Olympic 10K Marathon Swim bronze medalist Cassandra Patten (shown in middle), silver medalist Keri-Anne Payne (left) and Jennifer Jackson (left) third.
Lake Windermere is located in the Lake District which is one of England's 14 National Parks.
In an innovative partnership, British Swimming is supporting the Great North Swim.
Peter Mearns of Northwest Regional Development Agency said, "We are thrilled to see so many swimmers signed up to this year’s event which is not only testament to the success of last year, but also highlights competitors’ enthusiasm for being part of a really unique experience. I hope that many more visitors will be encouraged to take part and go on to explore the outstanding assets of Cumbria and the Lake District."
Bob Sutcliffe, a competitor from the 2008 Great North Swim commented, "It is fantastic to see us build on the success of last year's swim. We are keen to promote Windermere as a place for safe swimming for people of all abilities and a training ground for Olympians."
The Great North Swim will form part of the Great Swim Series taking place throughout the UK. More details will be announced within the next month.